A-Z of benefits and entitlements

This page contains information that will help guide you through the maze of benefits available to you and resources for anyone with limb loss.

You will come to understand that if you are able to claim Disability Living Allowance at the Higher Rate for the Mobility Component, this will act as your 'passport benefit' to many other benefits.  It is worth investing in a copy of the Disability Alliance's self help guide to help you to do this.

 An A-Z of benefits

You may be entitled to claim some of the following benefits now you are living without a limb.  Information on all these benefits is available from the Citizens Advice Bureau , the benefits helpline 0800 882200 and through the government’s website, DirectGov .

Access to work is a scheme to help you with work-related problems connected with your disability. The help provided is wide ranging. You can find out more information about this scheme at the Disability Alliance website: Access to Work

Attendance Allowance: You can claim attendance allowance (AA) if you are disabled, are aged over 65 and need help to look after yourself. If you want information about the rules for attendance allowance see the Disability Alliance's factsheet.

Blue Badge Scheme: If you have problems with walking or other mobility problems you may be able to get a blue badge to enable you to park your car near shops and other places you wish to visit.

You can find out more information about this scheme in our blue badge scheme factsheet.

Child tax credit - You can get CTC if you or your partner has a dependent child or young person and you have a low enough income. Partner means that you are either married, have a civil partner or are living with someone as part of a couple. You do not have to be working to get CTC.  If you are a student with children you can also claim CTC. For more information see the Disability Alliance factsheet.

Council tax benefit This helps you to pay your council tax. You can get two types of benefit. 
  • Main council tax benefit - if you are on a low income. It is worked out in a similar way to income support but allows people who have an income which is above income support levels (but who are still on low income) to get main council tax benefit.
  • Second adult rebate - This is also known as alternative maximum council tax benefit. It is paid if you have someone living with you, other than your partner,  whose income is low (e.g. if he or she is on income support or in a low paid job). This benefit is assessed on their income not yours - even though it is actually paid to you.

There is also a Council Tax disability reduction scheme - see Direct Gov for more information.

You also have to pass the habitual residence test to get either of these benefits.
 For more information see the Disability Alliance factsheet.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for people with disabilities. It is aimed at both adults and children who need help looking after themselves and/or who have difficulty walking or getting around. Someone can qualify for DLA even if they are not actually receiving any help. It is the underlying need for the help that is relevant.  DLA is tax free and not means tested. It is paid on top of any other earnings or income a person may have.   The Disability Alliance provide a factsheet.

Disabled facilities grants -A grant provided by your council (local authority) to help meet the cost of adapting a property for the needs of a disabled person. See the Disability Alliance for more information.

Help with Heating – national schemes provide help for disabled people, people age 60 or over and families with children who get a qualifying benefit or tax credits.  Freephone 0800 316 2808 or see the Disability Alliance information.  You may also get help with energy efficiency schemes such as cavity wall insulation and extra roof insulation - see Warm Front for more details.

Housing Benefit - Housing benefit is help with rent and some other housing costs (not mortgage costs - these can be met by income support). See the Disability Alliance website form more information.

Housing Grants - Under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002, local authorities have the option to provide financial and other assistance for repair, improvement and adaptation. This is help available in addition to disabled facilities grants. See this link for more information.

Incapacity Benefit - You can get incapacity benefit (IB) if you are sick/disabled and unable to work. If you are age 20 and over you will usually have to have paid enough national insurance (NI) contributions in the certain tax years to qualify. See this factsheet for more information.

Income Support - Income support is the main means tested benefit for those who do not have to 'sign on' as available for and actively seeking work and who are on or below a certain income. You can have income support paid on top of your existing benefits - such as Incapacity Benefit. See the Disability Alliance website for more information.

Independent Living Funds- The independent living (1993) fund provides financial help with your care package to help you remain in the community rather than enter residential care.  See the Disability Alliance website for more information.

Industrial Injuries Benefits - These are payable if you  who have suffered an industrial injury. In addition to a basic disablement benefit there are also additional benefits to cover reduced earnings or the need for constant attendance. Disability Alliance website for more information.

Motability – Motability was established to provide disabled people with safe, reliable and affordable cars. You can use this scheme to hire or buy a car or powered wheelchair or scooter if you have been awarded disability living allowance (DLA) high rate mobility component (or war pensioners' mobility supplement). Motability also provides grants for driving lessons. Go to their website.

If you have been awarded disability living allowance (DLA) high rate mobility component you can also apply for exemption from road tax from the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority).

National Health Benefits– such as free prescriptions, free dental treatment, free sight tests, vouchers for glasses and contact lenses, free wigs and fabric supports and fares to hospital.  See the Disability Alliance website for more information.

Pension Credit – for over 60’s -see the following factsheet.

Social Fund - The social fund is a government fund which makes payments to people in need. The regulated fund is for maternity costs, funeral costs and to help to cover the cost of winter fuel or severe cold weather. The discretionary fund provides grants and loans for urgently needed items, certain necessary journeys and other emergencies.  See the Disability Alliance website for more information.

Statutory sick pay - You can get this for up to 28 weeks if you have a job but have been sick and unable to work for 4 consecutive days. You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions but you cannot get statutory sick pay if your gross earnings are less than £87 a week. This benefit is paid by your employer.  See the Disability Alliance website for more information.

War Pensions - The armed forces compensation scheme (AFCS) replaces the existing war pension scheme and the attributable benefits of the armed forces pension scheme (AFPS) for injuries, illnesses or death caused on or after 6 April 2005.  See the Disability Alliance website for more information.

Working Tax Credit - You can claim working tax credit if you are working (or will be starting work within 7 days of claiming WTC) and on a low enough income.  See the Disability Alliance factsheet.

Other benefits:

London congestion charge
- individuals or institutions that have a Blue Badge can apply for the 100% discount from Congestion Charging. See the website to apply.

Disabled parking bays – you may be entitled to have a disabled parking bay outside your home.  Contact your local council for details.

Free bus travel throughout the UK became a reality in April 2008 - click here for more information - contact your local council for information on how to apply.

Taxi voucher scheme -
  For people unable to use a bus because of their impairment a taxi voucher scheme is available in Brighton. Call 01273 291924 for details.

Community Transport
- provides door-to-door transport for disabled people – call 01273 677559 for details in Brighton, or your local council for other parts of Sussex.

Disabled Persons Railcard
– pick up an application form at your local train station or download one from HERE

Accessible toilets
- RADAR have a National Key Scheme that offers independent access to disabled people to around 7,000 locked public toilets around the country. See the website for further information.

Cinema pass
- This is a national card that can be used to verify that the holder is entitled to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema. See the website for details of how to apply.

Other leisure/entertainment

Don’t be shy about asking for discounts when booking tickets at your local leisure and entertainment facilities – many venues offer a free ticket for your ‘carer’ or person accompanying you.

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